Saturday, October 07, 2006

John Stott summarizes Ephesians

Here is an outstanding brief summarization of Ephesians 1:1 to 6:9, by John Stott.

We have had occasion several times in our study of this letter to marvel at the breadth of Paul’s horizons. He began by unfolding God’s purpose, conceived in a past eternity before the foundation of the world, to create a single new human race through the death and resurrection of Christ and ultimately to unite the whole church and the whole creation under Christ’s headship. He has emphasized that a distinctive shape has been given to this divine plan by the inclusion in God’s new society, on an entirely equal footing, of Jews and Gentiles. The old days of division and discrimination have gone. A brand new oneness has emerged, in which through union with Christ Jews and Gentiles are equal members of the same body and equal sharers in the same promise. So now the one Father has one family, the one Messiah–Savior one people, and the one Spirit one body. These sure facts of what God has done through Christ and by the Spirit form the basis on which Paul went on to issue his eloquent appeal. His readers must live a life that is ‘worthy’ of their calling and ‘fitting’ to their status as God’s new and reconciled society. They must demonstrate their unity in the Christian fellowship, while at the same time rejoicing in the diversity of their gifts and so of their ministries. They must put away all the uncleanness of their pre-conversion behaviour and live a life of ‘true righteousness and holiness.’ And they must learn to submit to one another in every kind of domestic relationship and so promote harmony in their homes. Unity, diversity, purity and harmony—these the apostle has stressed as major characteristics of the new life and the new society in Christ. It has seemed a beautiful ideal, an obviously desirable goal, and not so difficult to attain. (Stott, 260-261)

2 comments:

no2salvation-by-process said...

"They must demonstrate their unity in the Christian fellowship,"

Would you care to elaborate on this statement within the back drop of all the Demon-inations that exist. Divisions to you and me.

"And they must learn to submit to one another in every kind of domestic relationship and so promote harmony in their homes."

You should also be specific as to whom you are referring to here, otherwise 'domestic relationships' could so easily be attributed to same sex domestic relationships, and you wouldn't want that, would you? Or perhaps you would.

"It has seemed a beautiful ideal, an obviously desirable goal, and not so difficult to attain."

I would suggest the writer lives in some kind of nether-world or fantasy world, perhaps he has been to Disney World too often.

n2sbp

Anonymous said...

I am also preaching through Ephesians (just finishing chapter 3) amd find your sermons very helpful. I have also enjoyed immensely John Stott's work on Ephesians. Just a quick comment in that I have noted several times that what it takes many of us numerous pages to say, Stott can say succinctly in just a paragraph!! Amazing gift! Praise God for it!